The Pregnancy Project by Gaby Rodriguez (with Jenna Glatzer)

Upon entering high-school, Gaby Rodriguez has thirty-one nieces and nephews. Her mother started having children at a young age, had seven in all, and those children started having children as early as age fifteen. Determined not to become a similar stereotype, and to raise teen pregnancy awareness, Gaby decides to conduct a project in which she pretends to be pregnant her senior year of high school. While “pregnant”, Gaby maintains high grades and still plans to attend college, ultimately proving that life doesn’t end at a teenage pregnancy, and that young mothers can do whatever they set their minds to.

This book has its merits; it shows the negativity pregnant teens can expect to face, it highlights that teen fathers-to-be experience just as much negativity, and Gaby emphasizes that some teen mothers have gone on to do extraordinary things with their lives post-baby. HOWEVER, I’m not one who thinks Gaby did some amazing, brave act by pretending to be pregnant. In fact, at times, I found her narrow-minded and judgmental (as much as she preaches against stereotypes, she doesn’t always avoid them herself). I also don’t really understand why she needed to pretend to be pregnant in the first place — just by being herself (a teenager from a low-socioeconomic family with a history of teen pregnancies who isn’t pregnant) she proved what it means to rise above stereotypes and accomplish your dreams. In contrast to fake-pregnancy theatrics, I would have liked to see Gaby help the other (actually) pregnant girls in her school, rather than just pretending to be one of them (and then for only as long as it was convenient for her to do so). I know Gaby didn’t mean it this way, but her project did come off as stunt, which is a shame. I know she had good intentions. Give it a read and see what you think! Just because I didn’t love it doesn’t mean you won’t!

*On YALSA’s Top 10 Quick Picks

Rating: 2.5/5

For full analysis (including flags and SPOILERS) click here. (This one is long…sorry. I got carried away.)

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